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Dealing With Post-Holiday Blues

Feelings of discouragement are common after the holidays. The excitement has faded, the decorations are packed away, and visiting relatives have gone home.

If you find yourself feeling down or restless but you do not have other symptoms of depression, such as difficulty sleeping or sudden change in weight, you may be experiencing what is known as mild depression. In their book New Light on Depression (Zondervan), David B. Biebel, D.Min., and Harold G. Koenig, M.D., offer six self-help strategies to counteract mild depression:

1. Surround yourself with constructive friends.
2. Increase your activity—this will make you feel better and improve your mental outlook.
3. Relax—a new twist on the old adage: "All work and no play makes Jack or Jill depressed."
4. Helping others gives your life purpose and meaning.
5. Journal—this activity provides insight into where you've been, where you are, and where you're going.
6. Praying connects you with God, dispels loneliness and puts your problems in proper perspective.

Biebel and Koenig point out that these tips do not replace professional help for anyone who is more than mildly depressed. If you feel you need help, don't hesitate to seek a professional counselor or therapist. read more

Who Wants to be 100?

Many among us have discovered that the good life can go on and on and on. What are the secrets for staying around and staying healthy longer?


Recently, my wife, Barb, and I visited some friends in their home, which is just over 100 years old. It was well preserved—even immaculate. They had cared for their home lovingly and carefully, and it responded as it had been designed, giving them a comfortable place to live for many decades.

Pastors often talk of our responsibility to be good stewards of our time, talent and treasure. I would add a fourth: our temple. As the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" (NIV). read more

Finding Medical Help Online

What are the benefits and risks involved in using the Internet for health information and resources?


Whenever I attend medical meetings, I often hear doctors sharing war stories of patients who bring in thick piles of computer printouts from the Internet.

From the doctors' viewpoint, if they don't take the time to read the articles, their patients may be upset. On the other hand, most doctors don't have (or won't take) the time to enter into what they see as long discussions about potentially false or misleading information. They've seen more than one patient who believes, "If it's on the Internet, it must be true!" read more

Longer Life?


Will biotechnology stretch our legacies out longer, or are the ethical implications too damaging?

 

Although escaping mortality is out of the question, stretching its boundaries may not be, according to new discoveries in genetic research.

Geneticists discovered how to lengthen the life span of animals and insects by the alteration of a single gene. Though companies form to benefit from any future application to humans, some are raising questions about the ethical implications of such a process.

  read more

Forgive and Be Healed

I have often wondered, Why do we see much more rheumatoid arthritis occurring in women than in men? I began to pay close attention to the studies showing that men are usually able to express their anger, whereas women tend to hold it in and become depressed. I recalled the scripture, "A broken spirit drieth the bones" (Prov. 17:22, KJV).

Could it be that a "broken spirit" in some women is causing rheumatoid arthritis? Is it causing the joints and bones to be inflamed and weakened? read more

Kids, TV and Obesity

Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Children's Hospital Boston found that children who spend more time watching television are more likely to eat the high-calorie foods they see advertised. Previous studies have linked children who watch more television to obesity, but this study (results appear in the April 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine) breaks new ground by providing evidence explaining the connection. read more

Body Shape Linked to Disease

When it comes to your health, it is important to be aware of and manage your weight. But according to Don Colbert, M.D., author of The Bible Cure series (Siloam), you should also be aware of how you're overweight. Where is your body's excess fat located? This is critically important when it comes to evaluating your risk of developing certain health conditions.

Apple-shaped. Do you have a few love handles on your tummy, abdomen and back? If you have abdominal obesity, or central obesity, you are considered "apple-shaped."

"If you are apple-shaped, you are much more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and coronary artery disease," says Colbert in his book The Bible Cure for High Blood Pressure (Siloam). He explains that when your fat is mainly in your abdomen, it tends to accumulate in your arteries, leading to vascular disease. read more

The Powerful Human Connection

The time you spend in interaction with others can dramatically affect your physical health.

One evening I was called to an old, ramshackle home out in the country to examine a home death. When I arrived at the house, a deputy met me at the door. "Doc, sure looks natural. The old lady's been up here, all alone, for years. Never left the house. Never had any visitors. Never went to the doctor—not that I can blame her."

He looked rather suspiciously toward me as I ducked to enter the undersized door, ignoring his slight to the medical profession. He continued his soliloquy: "She had a friend who brought her food and supplies. Her friend found her here this evening and called us." read more

Chicken Soup for the...Nose?

We've heard of chicken soup for the soul, but for the nose? It's true, according to family doctor Don Colbert. "Chicken soup can help a cold or flu," he writes in The Bible Cure for Colds, Flu and Sinus Infections. "Hot chicken soup will actually help increase the flow of mucus and help clear out your sinuses."

Hot herbal teas and vegetable broths are also good for nasal congestion, Colbert says. But he advises that some foods can result in a buildup of mucus and should be avoided during a head cold or sinus infection. These include cold drinks, frozen treats, eggs, chocolate and food additives. read more

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